Friends Like These represents the player as a blob, constantly traveling onwards through a void filled with various other blobs. Your progress is signified by three metrics, two bars which indicated Hope\Optimism and Guilt\Self Loathing and the speed at which you are traveling through the world. The aim of the game is to reach the natural end of your existence (A point that is not explicitly know, as we never known when our time is up), without your Guilt reaching its limit or your Hope running out; if that happens, the screen fades to black with the a message that “You succumb to your Guilt,” or “You are lost to despair.”
Since you are always moving forward through your life, your only control comes in the ability to move across your life stream to bring yourself closer to, or further from, the other blobs in the world. In terms of appearance all blobs look similar but unique. Once you get within a certain distance of another blob they begin to have an affect on your own blob; the distance at which this effect is felt and its strength is different for each blob.
If you spend too long without coming into contact with other blobs your Hope will begin to lower.
Some blobs are friends: the closer you get to them the faster you both begin to travel, and they will also tend to stick with you if you move away (up to a certain distance) allowing you to bring in more friends and collectively rush to the end together. When a large group of blobs is together like this your own Hope begins to increase.
Some blobs are not friends. These blobs will slow you down but they will not be so likely to stick close to you if you move away.
The third type of blobs are toxic, they follow an erratic path but if you can stay close to them your speed increases dramatically, everything else seems to rush past and you race towards the end together. However these blobs also dramatically increase your Guilt, the effect growing exponentially the longer you stay with them.
The effect of other blobs on you is not the same as their effects on each other. Though two blobs might both be your friend they may not be friends with each other; some may even be toxic to another but not you. Bringing such blobs into a close group results in other blobs slowing the group down and could potentially lead to the group itself fracturing if you are not careful about how close you allow those opposing blobs to get. If you bring in a blob to a group that then causes the group to split apart your Guilt will begin to increase until you either manage to bring the group back together or leave it behind (Life is harsh).
How do you want to live your life? Do you stick to your friends through the good times and the bad, or do you leave them behind when the going gets tough? Do you latch onto that one person who burns with an inner fire? They’ll show you the world but might kill you in the process.-J. Ross Keverne